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What Is a Low-Grade Fever? Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

What is a low grade fever

What Is a Low-Grade Fever? Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment


If you have a cold, or more commonly the flu, you may have a fever, but not all are the same. Fevers are defined as any body temperature above 98.6° F (37° C). Some people may talk about a low-grade fever versus a regular fever or a high-grade fever. These terms are not universally defined, but it is important to monitor the degree of your fever in the context of your cold or flu and take appropriate action to treat.

A Regular Fever vs. a Low-Grade Fever (LGF)

You can monitor your fever by simply taking your temperature. A low-grade fever is often classified as an oral temperature that is above 98.6° F (37° C) but lower than 100.4° F (38° C) for a period of 24 hours.1 A fever of 103° F (39° C) or higher is more concerning in adults. Fevers, though uncomfortable, play a key role in helping your body fight off many infections.

Additional Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a low-grade fever may include:

  • Sweating

  • Shivering

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches


Here’s what you can do to feel better:

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids.

  • You can also place a cold, damp washcloth on your forehead or the back of your neck while you’re resting. And you can try some other tricks to .

  • Call a doctor if your fever is accompanied by a severe headache, stiff neck, shortness of breath, or other unusual signs or symptoms.

  • To treat your fever associated with cold or flu and other cold & flu symptoms, you can take over-the-counter medications such as NyQuil Cold & Flu or DayQuil Cold & Flu, which temporarily relieve common cold and flu symptoms, including fever, cough and runny nose from NyQuil Cold & Flu and fever, cough and nasal congestion from DayQuil Cold & Flu.

Finally, you should consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of the below.

  • If your temperature reaches 100.4° F (38° C) or higher.

  • If you’ve had a fever for more than three days.

  • If your fever is accompanied by a severe headache, severe throat swelling, an unusual skin rash, mental confusion, persistent vomiting, or any other out-of-the ordinary symptoms.

Get well soon!

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